EVANSTON — A 31-year-old Lyman woman has been charged with felony child abuse for injuries to a 5-year-old child in foster care placement at her home.
Amber Olson is facing one count of child abuse for allegedly intentionally inflicting physical injury, which was not the result of reasonable corporal punishment, on a child whose welfare she was responsible for.
According to court documents filed in the case, law enforcement officers and staff with the Uinta County Department of Family Services responded to Olson’s residence in early March to speak with the child and look for signs of physical injury. After observing bruising to the child’s chest, wrists, back and buttocks, the child was removed from the home and taken to Sweetwater Memorial Hospital in Rock Springs for further examination.
An affidavit filed in support of arrest states the hospital examination documented bruising of varying age to the wrists, elbows, calves, thighs, heels, chest, shoulders, back, neck and buttocks. When asked about the cause of the bruising, the child initially stated, “I just don’t know,” but later said Olson used a belt and a wooden object as punishment for “not eating in a timely manner.”
When Olson herself was interviewed, she initially denied spanking the child with a belt or any other objects. When shown photographs of the bruising, according to court documents, she said she didn’t know what had happened and that they were possibly caused by tumbling or jumping off a bunk bed.
Later, however, she allegedly admitted to spanking the child on the buttocks one time with a belt. She maintained she had not used any other object and said she did not believe she had struck the child hard enough to cause any bruising.
Olson has waived a preliminary hearing in circuit court and is scheduled to be arraigned in Third District Court on Tuesday, April 23. If convicted, she faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both.